“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
~ Elizabeth Edwards
Thanks to all of you who read yesterday’s post and have shared, commented, and/or reached out to me. I’m honored that you’re following me, and grateful my words are helping. I’m going to try to write something every day. I’m keeping a running list of what I hope will help all of us stay sane and relatively happy during these crazy times.
I would also like to offer free mini-consultations. If you are in immediate danger of self-harm, feel in danger from someone in your household, of feel in danger of harming someone else, please call 911. But if you just want a quick question answered or feel you need guidance in a particular situation, or want to share what is or is not working for you, please feel free to email me at SheilaFlaherty2012@gmail.com. I will respond as quickly as possible. If it’s urgent, please put URGENT in the subject line.
Like I said in my last post, I’m learning with the rest of you. I live alone and even lost my two cats within months of each other last year. My office is out of my home, so usually I at least have people live and in person to interact with on a daily basis. That, and frequent contact with friends sustains me. But now, conducting my sessions by phone, FaceTime, or Skype, and communicating with friends mostly by phone, I miss the hugs and physical presence of my people. Between sessions and after work hours and now, during the weekend, my house is way too quiet.
I’m also cut off from seeing my family—for their sake and mine. As most of you know, my granddaughter Ada is my very heart. It’s terribly hard, but FaceTiming helps.
What I’m also finding helpful:
- Doing my daily Zumba and appreciating my community of women.
- Having friends, family members, and patients reach out to me to see how I’m doing. In turn, I’m reaching back and I have a growing list of people I’m reaching out to.
- Going for a walk on the beach with a friend, staying six feet apart.
- Watching a sweet video my soul daughter, Laura, sent me of her girls enjoying their homemade loaf of challah bread at their Friday Shabbat. Laura is finding little rituals to be helpful, and I’m going to follow her lead.
- Even though I’m tempted to stay in pajamas all day, I find getting dressed in at least workout clothes (comfy and keeps me ready for Zumba!) makes me feel better.
- When I’m working, even online, I get dressed for work, fix my hair, and put on the little makeup I normally wear. I even dab on a little perfume. It centers me.
- I’m not the best of all housekeepers and I tend toward clutter. And, after all, no one is coming over. BUT, I’ve found keeping the house as clean as if company is coming is helpful. More than ever, clutter feels like chaos. I find if I estimate how long it’ll take to clean a room or an area, set a timer (10 minutes to an hour), and work without interruption, it’s amazing what I can accomplish.
- I’m working to de-clutter. Sorting through things to toss or donate. Creating a bag of clothes to give away. Going through and listening to CDs to see what to let go of.
- Making what I call a quality of life list—the little things that bump up our lives on a daily basis. Listening to music. Talking to our BFF. Savoring a bite of chocolate. Scented candles. Watching a favorite movie.
- Reframing my isolation and hours of extra time into an opportunity to catch up on my life and enjoy things like writing and drawing I don’t usually have time for.
- Writing my posts and reaching out in the hopes of being helpful to others.
Surefire help for us all:
- Make your bed when you get up.
- Keep your kitchen clean.
- Start Spring cleaning.
- Play upbeat music while you work.
- Light candles when you relax.
- Have flowers around if possible.
- If you love baths, but usually only have time for a shower, luxuriate in a bath with candles lit around you and music playing.
- Enjoy longer conversations with “special someones” in your life.
- When you have thoughts or negative feelings threatening to rock your emotional world, try to bring yourself into the present moment. Try not to get into a loop of anticipatory anxiety. If you do, ground yourself in the moment—in your body. Look around and engage all your senses. What textures or temperatures can you feel? What colors, shapes, objects can you see? What can you smell? What can you hear? If you have something to eat or drink, what can you taste? STAY THERE, in the moment.
- Remember, usually EVERYTHING IS OKAY RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW. It’s all we really have.
- We’re all anxious, scared, and angry. Right now, remember to concentrate only on what you have control over.
- Remember that if all goes well, one day we’ll be back in the rush of our lives and long for some of the extra time we have now. We’ll regret if we didn’t take full advantage of it.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back real soon.
Please stay safe and stay in touch. Reach out if you need me. And let me know if you think an online meet-up on zoom is something you might be interested in and I’ll figure out how to make it work.
Blessings, gratitude, and much love to all of you.